Wait, A MINUTE !! More Evidence From Downing Street
Mon May 23rd, 2005 at 20:05:41 PDT on Daily Kos
Another MINUTE from Downing Street
They knew it was an illegal war of aggression. Who forced Goldsmith to change his opinion? What happened when Goldsmith was worked over by Gonzales and Ashcroft? One woman refused to take part in the crime. Her name is Elizabeth Wilmshurst.
READ MORE The passage in Wilmshurst's resignation letter was so damning to the Blair government, that one passage was "scrubbed" out of it. The damning revelation is contained in the resignation letter of Elizabeth Wilmshurst, a legal adviser at the Foreign Office, in which she said the war would be a "crime of aggression". She quit the day after Lord Goldsmith's ruling was made public, three days before the war began in March 2003. The following has that passage put back in, in italics.
A Downing Street Minute, dated March 18, 2003
A minute dated 18 March 2003 from Elizabeth Wilmshurst (Deputy Legal Adviser) to Michael Wood (The Legal Adviser), copied to the Private Secretary, the Private Secretary to the Permanent Under-Secretary, Alan Charlton (Director Personnel) and Andrew Patrick (Press Office):
I regret that I cannot agree that it is lawful to use force against Iraq without a second Security Council resolution to revive the authorisation given in SCR 678. I do not need to set out my reasoning; you are aware of it. My views accord with the advice that has been given consistently in this office before and after the adoption of UN security council resolution 1441 and with what the attorney general gave us to understand was his view prior to his letter of 7 March. (The view expressed in that letter has of course changed again into what is now the official line.) I cannot in conscience go along with advice - within the Office or to the public or Parliament - which asserts the legitimacy of military action without such a resolution, particularly since an unlawful use of force on such a scale amounts to the crime of aggression; nor can I agree with such action in circumstances which are so detrimental to the international order and the rule of law.
I therefore need to leave the Office: my views on the legitimacy of the action in Iraq would not make it possible for me to continue my role as a Deputy Legal Adviser or my work more generally. For example in the context of the International Criminal Court, negotiations on the crime of aggression begin again this year. I am therefore discussing with Alan Charlton whether I may take approved early retirement. In case that is not possible this letter should be taken as constituting notice of my resignation.
I joined the Office in 1974. It has been a privilege to work here. I leave with very great sadness.
Deputy Legal Advisor to the Foreign Office
March 18, 2003